Celebrations

The past two weeks have been full – full of conferences (two for me!); meetings, and some special celebrations.

From last Thursday afternoon through Monday, Asian Access had a training retreat for most of our staff in the Kobe area – just about fifteen minutes away from our home.  The day it started, we went ahead and scheduled our ladies’ English class that day to be a potluck lunch and surprise shower for our co-worker Rhonda, expecting a baby boy anytime.  She has been teaching the advanced english class while I have been teaching the beginning class in our home.

I made a simple cake, and the ladies brought tons of great food!

What I didn’t know was that they had also planned this to be a surprise birthday celebration for me as well!  Since my birthday fell in August when we weren’t meeting, they had planned this fun surprise.  After everyone had gathered and we were ready to eat, my doorbell rang – it was a delivery service, who handed me a HUGE box – big but very light.  Inside were four of the funnest balloons I have ever seen!  Here are the ladies, me, and my special surprises.

And with Rhonda and Ian:

The ladies also each brought a coupon – with some amazing promises — most notable were the promises to babysit, which I may need this next week when Eric is gone again.  I was touched very deeply by the love of these special friends!

Rhonda actually went into labor during our training retreat, on Saturday night before dinner.  Our friend Yuko and I were on call to go to the hospital (about 30 minutes away) with their two children as soon as the baby was born.  Late that night, still no baby, so Yuko and I slept in our jeans, ready to go.  Morning – still no baby.  Finally in the early afternoon, another friend and I drove over to the hospital to encourage Rhonda and Erik, who were quite weary.  As we arrived, however, she went back into the delivery room.  A short time later, little Isaac Roy was born!

It was a special privilege to hold this beautiful little one just an hour after birth.  I was really amazed at how perfect he was.  I realized that because we have adopted our children, and I have not been in the U.S. for the birth of any of our nieces and nephews, that I have never held a truly new-born before.  It was a sweet, sweet privilege.  I recited (rustily) Psalm 139 for this dear one who has joined our mission family.

Yesterday, as the ladies’ English class gathered again, the timing was perfect as Rhonda and Isaac were getting out of the hospital and dropped by our home to pick up Asian Access friends Mike and MaryJo.  Can’t you just hear the “oohs”  and “aahs”?

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